11 Rules For Life Summary, Notes, and Quotes

11 Rules For Life by Chetan Bhagat book

11 Rules For Life by Chetan Bhagat is about mastering yourself by taking control over emotions, focusing on health, taking baby steps, living like cockroaches, and most importantly, admitting and learning from mistakes. 

The author has also shared some of his personal life experiences that no one knew before. This will surely make you share what you’re going through.

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The Book in Three Sentences

11 Rules For Life by Chetan Bhagat Summary
  • Everyone is busy in their life but no one is that busy that they can’t have 30 to 60 minutes to focus on their health. So no matter what you’re doing in your life, do exercise every day.
  • Be like cockroaches who can adapt to anything, they’re not afraid of change.
  • Distractions are everywhere and everyone is looking for your attention. So make sure you do what is right for you and stay away from cheap dopamine like Reels, p*rngraphy, and short videos.

These are one of three rules from Elevens that Chetan Bhagat has shared in the book.

11 Rules For Life Summary

11 Rules For Life is a self-help book but it is written in a way that you will feel connected with the author. He has covered everything about self-improvement that you need to know to change your life from where you are today.

One of my biggest takeaways from the book is “If you’re working on a bigger project and you’re afraid to take one step ahead then break everything into categories and perform the tasks as you go along”

For example, if you want to read 300 pages of a book then instead of reading the book in one setting, divide 300 by 10 and you will get 30. This means, reading 30 pages every day for 10 days will be easy.

How Book Starts:

One day, Chetan Bhagat ordered food from Zomato but somehow, he didn’t get his order on time, and when the delivery guy came, he said, his bike tire got punctured.

Chetan Bhagat knew he was lying and after a few minutes, the delivery guy started crying and told him, “My girlfriend broke up with me” and that was the reason, I didn’t get here on time.

The food delivery guy also shared his problems with the author and then the author told him the 11 Rules For Life.

Now, let’s talk about the 11 Rules For Life that Chetan Bhagat wants you to apply.

I’m keeping my promise, this is the mini-ebook of 11 Rules For Life by Chetan Bhagat (article). So download right now and read wherever you want for free. Happy Reading.

Rule 1: Never Ignore Your Fitness

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 1

Chetan Bhagat Says “Fitness comprises three aspects- a healthy diet, physical exercise, and good quality sleep”

The author himself wasn’t a healthy person, he was fat but once he realized the importance of health. Now, fitness is his highest priority.

In the same way, if you’re in your 20s or even 30s then make sure you exercise every day, eat healthy food, and sleep well because that is the key ingredient to living a happy life.

Also, eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up on everything. This only means, eating everything in moderation. Maybe eat healthy food Monday to Saturday and on Sundays, eat one of your favorite meals.

Getting a good night sleep is another part of living a healthy life because if you only sleep for 4 hours then you will surely feel tired all day. So sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours and you won’t even need coffee.

The author has shared a few tips to improve sleep like, 

  • Go to bed every day at the same time. 
  • Don’t use a smartphone or internet before 2 hours of your bad time.
  • Don’t consume any caffeinated products after 2 PM. 
  • Don’t use a smartphone directly after you wake up.

I know, these are common things that we all know of yet we’re not following these simple rules. This says a lot about our lifestyle.

So from this day, just do exercise for 30 minutes for the next 30 days and see what happens with your body. Just try it out, don’t lose yourself during 30 days, just do it no matter what. 

As the author puts it

“Fitness is hard. The world is hard. Fitness comprises exercise and diet. Exercise requires motivation, focus, and discipline. It demands pushing aside that inner voice making excuses or asking you to quit. This is exactly what success in life requires as well.”

Rule 2: Master Your Emotion

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 2

If you can control your emotional brain, then coupled with a good logical brain, it will multiply your accomplishments.

The author says we have four types of brains. 

  • 100% Rational: These people mostly rely on facts and logic. They don’t make any decisions from an emotional perspective.
  • Rationally Dominant: These people have a balance between logic and emotions. 
  • Emotionally Dominant: These people do have logic but most of the time their emotions control them. 
  • 100% Emotional: These people mostly rely on their emotions. Basically, anyone can manipulate this kind of people.

Now, tell me what kind of person you are.

Whether you’re a person who only relies on facts or only emotions. 

The author says it’s better if we are rationally dominant because emotion is what makes us human. So you should not cut the emotion from your soul at the same time, don’t let your emotions control you.

As the author puts it

You will have to fight and train the emotional brain every day until it finally realizes what it is dealing with. It’s dealing with a beast called you, with a rational brain that is smart and tough. You can’t give up. Your focus has to be set on your long-term goals and you have to completely block the desire for immediate or short-term pleasure.

So whenever you’re about to make any decision, see it from the long-term perspective. 

This will give you a clear idea about what you should be doing in the movement because the short term can sometimes guide you in the wrong direction.

Rule 3: Put Yourself First

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 3

No one cares about what you’re doing at this movement, if you make big in life then people will come to you and say “Didn’t I say, you will do wonders in life” but if you fail then people will say “Didn’t I said, this won’t work and still you did it.”

So whenever you get free time from your job or business, put yourself first and do what you want to do rather than pleasing other people because you don’t want to make them unhappy.

Putting Yourself first is not being selfish, it’s your way of giving yourself time (self-care).

This will only happen when you’re Rationally Dominant but if you’re 100% Emotional then you will say YES to anyone for anything because you don’t want to make anyone upset.

You don’t have unlimited time, we all are going to die one day and that day might come tomorrow or the year after. So from today, do what makes you happy rather than what makes others happy.

As Chetan Bhagat says  “Protecting yourself Isn’t selfish, it’s self-care. In an airplane, they ask you to put your oxygen mask on first and then help others. It’s the same in life. If you don’t place your needs first, how can you ever be there for others?”

Rule 4: Master Simple English

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 4

If you’re reading what I have written here then it’s safe to say that you know how to read English and I’m sure you can also speak English but if you don’t then this is the time to start learning.

English is not the official global language but it is the widely used language in most businesses all around the world.

So it makes sense to learn to speak English.

Now, we have lots of people in India who don’t even speak English or even Hindi, and yet they’re earning a good amount of money. So English shouldn’t be an excuse to not start a business or something else.

English can make things easy when you’re dealing with a person who doesn’t speak your language. 

So learn to speak English because it will open lots of new doors of opportunity for you.

Talking about myself, I learn English from TV shows like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and yes, from books as well.

These days, you can watch English Podcasts, Videos, movies, TV shows, or read books. Also while watching movies, make sure you enable the subtitles of the language you speak. 

As the author says “The repercussions of not knowing English reasonably well are huge. Note that “reasonably well” doesn’t mean Oxford-quality, rarefied, perfectly accented English. That isn’t what is required. But you must be at a level where you can communicate fluently in English.”

Rule 5: No Cheap Dopamine

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 5

Whenever you feel good your brain releases Dopamine which is a crucial neurochemical. If you’re drinking coffee and if you feel motivated then it is because your brain just released Dopamine.

In the same way, If you’re spending hours on Instagram then your brain will release Dopamine as you’re watching reels and this is a cheap way to waste Dopamine.

The tricky part is, if you watch reels every day then after a certain point, even if you scroll for hours, your brain won’t release as much Dopamine as it did the first time.

Your brain knows what will happen when you scroll on Instagram. So, now your brain needs a higher Dopamine kick, and because of this, you will spend hours scrolling on social media.

The same is true with coffee as well, if you drink 4 to 5 cups of coffee every day then your brain won’t release as much Dopamine as it did for the first time because now, your brain wants more caffeine. 

So instead of doing all these, focus on yourself. I know, doing exercise every day is no fun but when you do it for 365 days, you will have a healthy body and it will feel a lot better than drinking coffee or watching reels.

As Authur says “The cheap highs are everywhere though. I feel like scrolling through Insta reels finding out what’s happening on X (formerly Twitter) or checking WhatsApp fifty times a day. I don’t need to. It doesn’t serve me. Yet, I keep getting drawn to these activities due to those tiny hits of cheap dopamine”

You can also try Dopamine Detox if you want to test yourself.

Rule 6: Chase The Hard Things

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 6

If you don’t chase your hard each day, the hard will chase you down one day.

So if you’re facing a problem or going through something then do yourself a fever and solve that problem and face the situation. This will not create a bigger mess but it will make you free.

Now, you’re facing your problem and once you do that, your brain will try its best to solve it.

In the same way, when you’re working on a project, make sure you first finish the most important task and then work on small tasks. 

The reason is, in the morning we have full energy, and if we waste it on unnecessary tasks then we will not be able to perform the important task properly and we will make lots of mistakes doing so.

Rule 7: Eat The Elephant

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 7

You actually don’t have to eat the Elephant, it’s just a way of saying, do small-small tasks that lead to bigger ones.

As the author says “The most difficult, insurmountable tasks in life can be dealt with effectively by breaking them down or cutting up the task into small pieces.”

Here, I will give you the same book example “If you want to read 300 pages of a book then instead of reading the book in one setting, divide 300 by 10 and you will get 30. This means, reading 30 pages every day for 10 days will be easy.”

In the same way, you can apply this to anything that you’re doing. 

It’s the same as the 1% rule that James Clear taught us in the Atomic Habits Book. He says “Improve 1% every day and you will be way ahead of everyone else” 

Doing exercise for 15 minutes won’t make you a healthy person but if you keep doing it for 15 minutes every day for 365 days then you will be a better version of yourself than you ever were.

“Find your one big, juicy elephant. Don’t be scared by its size. Break it down into hundreds of little pieces. Eat a single piece at a time, over months and years. Enjoy the adventure. Stick to it, and you will get done eventually. Success will inevitably come your way.”

Rule 8: Be the Cockroach

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 8

Before reading the 11 Rules For Life, I didn’t know that Cockroaches can adapt to any change. The author uses this to teach that, if there is a change to make in your life then do it, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

For example, a person who has been running an offline business for the last 10 years will think twice before listing his store on Amazon. This change needs to be made, if he wants to expand his business.

But if he just stuck with the old business style.

Now imagine, an XYZ person starting the same kind of business in the same area but he is also selling his products online as well. So after some time, the XYZ person will take over his business and he will be left with regrets.

The ability to adapt is extremely important in life. Those who can adapt continue to grow.

So be like a Cockroach but don’t adopt everything, just take good things. 

Rule 9: Learn to Connect With People

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 9

Connections are very important in life, if you know more people then you can always ask for help whenever you need it. This goes both ways, if they need your help then you can also help them.

For example, let’s say I know Chetan Bhagat very well and I’m also writing a book called Life’s Last Edit. 

What this will do is, it will be much easier for me to connect with a book publisher than a person who doesn’t have strong Connections.

Now, the author also says that, if you meet someone from the business world then don’t just ask for MONEY or ask to give you a proper business plan.  

Instantly say “I’m thinking of quitting my job and starting my own business. As a successful businessperson, what are the top two pieces of advice you would give me?’ Simple, that’s it.”

Learn how to communicate well and build Connections that help you.

As the Author says “You must learn how to connect with other human beings in such a way that you become part of a greater network that will eventually bring you benefits.”

Rule 10: It’s My Fault

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 10

One of the key ideas from the book is “own your mistakes, don’t ignore them”

As the Author says “Your purpose in life is taking responsibility for yourself, fixing your issues, and becoming the best person you can possibly be.”

Now, yes, it will be hard to face mistakes and it is easy to ignore them because you’re busy doing other things but when you face your mistakes, you have to do something about them and this will make you stressed.

So you try to ignore the problem and keep yourself busy.

Now, this approach is not good at all. The problem won’t disappear by itself, it will get bigger and bigger. So why not just face it and do something about it?

Say to yourself that, I have made this mistake and I will try not to repeat the same ever. Don’t blame other people for what you did, just accept it and move on with life.

This will free you from ignorance and you will focus more on what is happening now rather than what happened in the past.

Rule 11: Earn, Save, And Invest

11 Rules For Life Chapter Number 11

I’m 26 years old and I started investing when I was 23 years OLD. I started with the stock market and I’m also investing in crypto (risky as hall) as well.

I’m also one of those people who are in for the long term. I plan to invest as long as I can.

Now, what Chetan Bhagat says is “Our becoming wealthy depends not  only on what you earn, but also on how  you save and invest along the way”

I won’t say that if you invest in XYZ company then your money will be ABC in 5 years. For this, you can search for the SIP calculator on Google and you will have a better idea.

What I will say is “If you’re earning a good amount of money and after spending it on your needs, if money is left then invest that money wherever you feel safe”

Investing will open a lot of doors in the long term, you just have to be consistent and the market will reward you for it.

Do your research before you enter the market and invest in those companies that you feel safe about. Don’t invest because XYZ person says so.

My Top 11 Quotes

There’s pain in progress, but there’s pain in stagnation and decline too. It’s hard to do well,  but it’s equally hard to live a life of failure. Choose your pain and choose your hard work.

11 Rules For Life, page 13

The quality of work should be the only basis of judging people in an office, isn’t it? But an office is full of human beings and human beings and human beings aren’t fair.

11 Rules For Life, page 19

This is the core issue behind every failed diet plan. You and I will never be able to fully overcome the temptation to eat unhealthy food. Unhealthy foods are designed that way

11 Rules For Life, page 32

So, what ‘felt right’ emotionally at a particular instance ends up feeling quite stupid in the long term.

11 Rules For Life, page 52

If you don’t speak English well in India, certain opportunities and avenues are shut for you.

11 Rules For Life, page 78

The brain is always in search of instant, short-term gratification. What can I do right now to “feel” good? Before you know it, the answer will lead you to a cookie or a drink or Instagram reels or, essentially, a cheap dopamine fix.

11 Rules For Life, page 96

‘Exactly. That’s your baseline dopamine going lower after the porn high. And you try to lift it again by eating junk food. Which leads to another momentary high but subsequently you feel worse. Get it?”

11 Rules For Life, page 108

Achieving anything remarkable always requires long-term effort.

11 Rules For Life, page 132

Our brain literally fights change because it requires an uncomfortable rewiring and resetting of our already-set neural pathways.

11 Rules For Life, page 149

Your network is just as valuable as the wealth you possess, if not more.

11 Rules For Life, page 163

For sure, but I have it because I chose to give up on some other luxuries. Am I lucky? Yes, I am. The markets reward you with luck if you stay in them long-term.

11 Rules For Life, page 198

11 Rules For Life Review

11 Rules For Life is written for 20-year-olds who don’t know a single thing about what self-improvement is. So if you are one of those people who have read books like Atomic Habits then it will be okay if you don’t read 11 Rules For Life.

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11 Rules For Life is written for 20-year-olds who don’t know a single thing about what self-improvement is. So if you are one of those people who have read books like Atomic Habits then it will be okay if you don’t read 11 Rules For Life.

Now, if you’re a fan of Chetan Bhagat like myself then you will for sure love the book. You might not learn new things but you will love how the author has written this book.

I wish he would have written another novel because self-improvement books are all over the place.

If in case you’re wondering, the 11 Rules For Life has 226 Pages.

Nonetheless, it was a good read for me.

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One Comment

  1. I recently found this bookiestalk and YouTube through your WhatsApp channel,,Yes I’m ur follower now..keep going..🤞🏻🍀

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